How to Pack for a Trip to Florida

Updated on August 2, 2018
Everything you need to know before your trip to Florida.
Everything you need to know before your trip to Florida.

Packing for a trip to Florida isn’t as simple as throwing your clothes into a suitcase; you’ll need to take into account the climate and current season, as well as where you are traveling and by what means. Driving down to Florida is much different than taking a plane regarding space and item restrictions. Planning to go the beach is different than spending the day at a theme park. Read on for advice on how to pack your bags for your trip, as well as what you cannot pack on an airplane.

Year-Round Essentials

Regardless of the occasion or time of year, you'll want to bring these key items on any trip to Florida:

  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • sun hat or visor
  • flip-flops or sandals
  • comfy walking shoes (preferably water-proof)
  • loose, light-weight clothing
  • umbrella or poncho
  • swimsuit(s)
  • camera

What Clothes to Pack for Each Season

Spring and Summer

Temperature lows are around 75–80°F, while highs tend to sit in the lower 90s. Visiting Florida during the summer calls for much lighter, more breathable clothing than when traveling in the winter, along with other accessories.

Summers in Florida are very sunny and humid, so expect to be out in high heat during the day. Sunscreen is a must, as well as a good pair of sunglasses. If you plan on going to a beach, pool or water park, don’t forget your swimsuit!

While long sleeves might be the last thing you think to pack for 90-degree weather, bring a light jacket for chilly indoor spaces. Restaurants, hotels, and movie theaters put the AC on full-blast in the summer, so you might need to warm up again after cooling off!

Fall and Winter

The temperatures in Florida are fairly favorable all year round; however, during the winter, lows range around 39–65°F (depending on the region of the state) to daytime highs between 65–77°F. This warmer winter weather makes Florida a popular winter vacation spot, as it isn’t too hot or too cold.

With the mild temperatures, you won’t need a heavy winter jacket unless Florida goes through a rare cold spell. Even in the winter, it is usually very sunny out—sunscreen is still a must! Be sure to have one pair of pants for a particularly cold day; otherwise, shorts or capris should be just fine. Especially if you're staying in South Florida, you may still break a sweat in December!

Check the Weather

While Florida is famous for being warm and sunny year-round, check the weather a week before your trip as well as each day of your vacation. The sky may change from sunny to storming to sunny again in no time flat!

Clothes for Spring or Summer

Tops
Bottoms
tank tops
shorts
short sleeves
flowy skirts
sundress or romper
capri pants
light jacket or cardigan
jeans

Clothes for Fall or Winter

Tops
Bottoms
tank tops or short sleeves
shorts
light-weight long sleeves
flowy skirts
mid-length or maxi-dress
capri pants
medium-weight jacket or sweatshirt
jeans

Dress in Layers

For summer, a light cardigan or button-down shirt can turn your beachwear into a night outfit for chilly air-conditioned spaces. In the winter, wear a tank top underneath a long-sleeve pullover so you can easily transition from sunny afternoons to cool evenings.

Florida's beaches are warm year-round.
Florida's beaches are warm year-round. | Source

What to Bring for the Pool or Beach

Clothing & Accessories
Useful Items
multiple bathing suits
aloe gel for sunburns
sarong or beach cover up
sand toys for children
flip-flops or sandals
jar or bag to collect shells
a quick change of clothes
cooler for snacks and drinks
sunscreen
reading material
sunglasses
portable music speakers
sun hat or visor
mesh bag for wet bathing suits
beach bag
sealable plastic bag to protect phone, keys, and wallet
beach umbrella
small comb for wet hair
towels
 

Can't Fit Beach Gear in Your Suitcase?

If you're driving down to Florida, it might be easy enough to pack everything in the trunk of your car, but if you're flying or working with tight space, consider buying or renting beach items around your vacation spot. Tourist shops offer hourly deals for water sport items such as boogie boards, snorkels, and flippers. For essentials like aloe vera gel, beach towels, and sand toys, head to a local supermarket like Publix or Walmart for inexpensive conveniences.

Going to Disney? Follow these tips to save money and keep track of your belongings.
Going to Disney? Follow these tips to save money and keep track of your belongings. | Source

What to Pack for a Day at a Theme Park

  • Draw-string bag or small light-weight backpack
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Visor or sun hat
  • Comfortable, waterproof walking shoes
  • Paper fan or water mister
  • Ponchos for intermittent rain and/or splashing water rides
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Non-perishable snacks like pretzels, pb&js, fruit, or energy bars
  • Cash

Amusement Park Hacks

  • Wear a comfortable pair of walking shoes and appropriate clothing for going on rides. Save your flip-flops, skirts, and dresses for another day.
  • When going on attractions, you are often required to leave your bags with the operators of the ride until you are finished. Most theme parks offer lockers for this purpose, but it's still better to carry as few valuables as possible.
  • Personally, I prefer wearing boys cargo shorts with huge, button or velcro pockets; that way, I don’t have to worry about carrying around a bag for my wallet, phone, and other loose objects. If there is someone in your party that doesn’t enjoy rides, however, valuables can be left with them while they wait.
  • When at a theme park, it is easy to drop your wallet or lose track of a debit or credit card. By the time you finally realize your card is gone, it could have already been used by someone else, making cash a much better option.
  • While fun and character-themed, amusement park food items are outrageously priced! Save money by packing your own food and refillable water bottles. Be sure to check the official policies of the theme park you're going to, but both Disney and Universal allow outside food items.
  • If traveling with young children, plan your day based on age-appropriate rides and activities.

Before going to Florida, keep in mind seasonal factors like rain, storms, and ticket prices.
Before going to Florida, keep in mind seasonal factors like rain, storms, and ticket prices.

More Useful Items for the Sunshine State

Bring This
Because of Florida's...
anti-frizz hair spray
constant humidity
bug spray
vicious mosquitoes
wildlife/bird-watching book
524 different species of birds
pocket English-Spanish dictionary
vibrant Latin-American communities

Have you ever been to Florida?

See results

Traveling by Airplane

If you plan on flying to Florida to visit, your luggage will be limited to carry-on and check-in space, as well as what TSA allows you to bring. If you are close enough to drive down, you can bring as many items as you can fit into your vehicle, as well as your own food and drink. Airplanes, on the other hand, restrict certain items in your carry-ons and other luggage due to safety concerns. Some examples of this include:

  • sharp objects; box cutters, knives, and scissors
  • sporting goods; baseball bats, hockey sticks
  • guns and firearms; ammunition, guns
  • tools; hammers, drills, wrenches
  • self-defense items; nightsticks, throwing stars
  • explosive materials; fireworks, flares
  • disabling chemicals; chlorine, liquid bleach

A full list of items prohibited on airplanes and carry-ons can be found on the TSA government website. Some of the items listed, while not allowed on the airplane itself, can be stored in checked luggage for the duration of the flight. Also, keep in mind the amount of extra space in your bags; you’ll want to leave some room for souvenirs!

10 Hot Florida Attractions

A
Walt Disney World:
Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, USA

get directions

B
Universal Studios:
Universal Orlando Resort, 6000 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32819, USA

get directions

C
Islands of Adventure:
Islands Of Adventure, 6000 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32819, USA

get directions

D
Sea World:
Sea World Drive, Orlando, FL, USA

get directions

E
Castillo de San Marcos:
1 S Castillo Dr, St Augustine, FL 32084, USA

get directions

F
Kennedy Space Center:
Saturn Causeway, Merritt Island, FL 32920, USA

get directions

G
Salvador Dali Museum:
1 Dali Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, USA

get directions

H
Ringling Museum:
5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243, USA

get directions

I
Key West:
Key West, FL 33040, USA

get directions

J
South Beach, Miami:
South Beach, Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA

get directions

Questions & Answers

  • I'm thirteen, and we are moving to Florida. I was wondering what to bring to Florida like on the plane and the likes. What would you suggest?

    If you are going to have liquids in your carry-on bag, they can only be in 3.4 oz containers, and all have to fit into a one quart-size bag. Other than that, solid snacks are okay to bring in your carry-on bag on the plane, as well as electronic devices to keep you occupied! Just make sure you have a bag that fits your airline's carry-on dimensions, and that everything you plan on bringing on the plane can fit into your bag. Airlines can be strict about carry-on bags, especially on crowded flights.

  • Can I bring a glass bottle of perfume in my luggage when flying to Florida?

    If it's in carry-on luggage, it can only be a 3.4-ounce container or smaller, or in a one-quart bag in your carry-on. If it's in your checked luggage, any size is fine.

  • How old do I have to be to ride a plane?

    The only age restriction I know of applies to flying alone - if you are under 12 years old and flying without an adult, you are considered an unaccompanied minor and will need to be supervised to and from the plane. If you are older, you can fly alone without assistance.

Comments

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    • Dreamhowl profile imageAUTHOR

      Jessica Marello 

      4 weeks ago from United States

      @ ava Chances are you'll be able to find a grocery store or other small shop that has what you need, in case you forget something!

    • profile image

      ava 

      5 weeks ago

      what if I forget to bring something and there is not a store\flea market around?

    • profile image

      Lupita 

      7 weeks ago

      I am going to Florida tomorrow. A bit nervous but I guess if I forget to pack something I could just buy it there right?

    • profile image

      Cindy spicer 

      7 weeks ago

      Going to Destin and Navarre for 9 days having trouble deciding how much ( cause I always seem to take shit I don’t need) and what to pack I will be going for a morning beach wedding , family weekend and some sightseeing

    • Dreamhowl profile imageAUTHOR

      Jessica Marello 

      2 months ago from United States

      @dancer101 Have fun!

    • profile image

      @dancer101 

      2 months ago

      I'm going to Florida very soon. I can't wait!!

    • Dreamhowl profile imageAUTHOR

      Jessica Marello 

      3 months ago from United States

      @Kate You're welcome!

    • profile image

      Kate 

      3 months ago

      I'm going to Florida in two days thank you for th e information

    • Dreamhowl profile imageAUTHOR

      Jessica Marello 

      5 months ago from United States

      @Gabby I hope you have/had a good time!

    • profile image

      Gabby 

      5 months ago

      Thanks for the help! I am going to Florida in 2 days!

    • Dreamhowl profile imageAUTHOR

      Jessica Marello 

      5 months ago from United States

      @Mike Hardy They do sound convenient - thanks for reading!

    • Mike Hardy profile image

      Mike Hardy 

      5 months ago from Caseville, Michigan

      Spot on. I’m a big fan of Tom’s slip on shoes. Great for comfort on board a flight and quickly getting through security.

    • profile image

      Averymay 

      6 months ago

      This is so helpful! I'm leaving for Florida in a couple of days and was having trouble packing. You have solved my problem. Thank you so much!!! :)

    • Dreamhowl profile imageAUTHOR

      Jessica Marello 

      6 months ago from United States

      @Andrew Smith No problem!

    • profile image

      Andrew Smith 

      6 months ago

      Thanks for the help!

    • Dreamhowl profile imageAUTHOR

      Jessica Marello 

      7 months ago from United States

      @Softball23 Have fun!

    • profile image

      Softball23 

      7 months ago

      I am going there in a couple days!

    • Dreamhowl profile imageAUTHOR

      Jessica Marello 

      7 months ago from United States

      @Anon Have fun!

    • profile image

      Anonymous 

      7 months ago

      Thank you, this helped! Im going to there within 3 weeks!

    • profile image

      amanda 

      10 months ago

      that was helpful im going soon

    • Dreamhowl profile imageAUTHOR

      Jessica Marello 

      17 months ago from United States

      @Lily I'm glad it helped!

    • profile image

      LILY MADERY 

      17 months ago

      THIS HELPED ME SO MUCH

    • Dreamhowl profile imageAUTHOR

      Jessica Marello 

      5 years ago from United States

      Thanks! I'm glad you found it helpful.

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 

      5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Great tips! Thanks for sharing.

    • Dreamhowl profile imageAUTHOR

      Jessica Marello 

      5 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the feedback! I've personally only been to Florida once or twice, but I did enjoy the weather, and the attractions. You're lucky to live there!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      5 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for the nice Hub about the state I live in: Florida. I came here from Georgia for the warmer climate, but we do have what I call cold weather. Last night it was probably in the lower 50's and I turned my heat on. It is a great state with lots of attractions.

      Thanks for the interesting Hub, Voted this UP, etc.

    • Dreamhowl profile imageAUTHOR

      Jessica Marello 

      5 years ago from United States

      Thanks, I'll be sure to add a line or two in about those. Thanks again! And have a great holiday!

    • KawikaChann profile image

      Kawika Chann 

      5 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Nice job, though if you are visiting a little north in the pan-handle nights can get pretty cold. Also check the south most islands to see if hurricane activity is present, if there is, the signature move is to flip north towards florida. The parks are awesome though! Voted you up/useful. Peace. Kawi.

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